Fact Checking Congress party’s claims about Public expenditure on Education & Health

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The Congress party has made a series of claims about the budget allocation & expenditure on education and health during the UPA. The following article is a fact check of the claims made on the Congress website.

The Congress party has made a series of claims about the budget allocation & expenditure on education and health during the UPA. The following article is a fact check of the claims made on the Congress website.

What is the expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP?
One of the claims made by the Congress is that, ‘the Indian National Congress has always placed a high premium on education. Both UPA I and UPA II continued with this intense and pro-active approach to achieve maximum coverage. The share of GDP allocated for education (primary, secondary and tertiary) saw an increase from 3.29 per cent in 2004-2005 to 3.83 per cent in 2012-13.’ This claim is represented by the following infographic on its website.expenditure on education and health_expenditure on education

The National Policy on Education, 1986 as modified in 1992 has laid down that the investment on education be gradually increased to reach a level of 6% of the National Income as early as possible. The draft National Education Policy of 2016 also reiterates the same.

The share of GDP allocated for education over the years is in the following graph. The data has been compiled from responses to Lok Sabha  & Rajya Sabha questions 2431, 1229, 4208, 1566, 40, 3563, 2314.

It can be seen from the graph that the public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP for the year 2004-05 was 3.39% and for the year 2012-13 was 4.29%. The percentage of GDP being allocated for education has risen continuously over the years. But the allocation is significantly below the 6% mark as outlined in the NPE.expenditure on education and health_Public Expenditure on Education as a % of GDP

Claim: The share of GDP allocated for education (primary, secondary and tertiary) saw an increase from 3.29 per cent in 2004-2005 to 3.83 per cent in 2012-13.

Fact: The public expenditure on education including technical education as percentage of GDP for the year 2004-05 was 3.39% and for the year 2012-13 was 4.29%. Hence, the claim is TRUE. But the expenditure is way less than what is mandated by the NPE 1986 & 1992.

What is the share of public expenditure on Health as a percentage of GDP?
The second claim made by the Congress is that, ‘It has been the Indian National Congress’s concerted effort to provide easy access to quality and affordable health care through government funded programmes. The share of public health expenditure to GDP of the country was doubled from a mere 0.13% in 2000-01 to 0.26% in 2010-11 respectively. For the year 2012-13, the Budget for healthcare was earmarked at a whopping Rs. 24,261 crore.’  The claim is represented on the website by the following infographic.expenditure on education and health_expenditure on health

‘The National Health Policy of 1983 and the National Health Policy of 2002 have served well in guiding the approach for the health sector in the Five-Year Plans. Now 14 years after the last health policy, the context has changed in four major ways,’ states the National Health Policy of 2017.

While the National Health Policy of 2002 proposed to increase the health sector expenditure from 5.2% of GDP with 0.9% Government contribution to 6% of GDP with 2% from government by 2010, the National Health Policy (2017) proposes raising public health expenditure to 2.5% of GDP in a time bound manner by 2025.

Based on the data collected from World Health Organisation and Lok Sabha question number 192, the public health expenditure to GDP of the country was 0.90% in 2000-01. This number has increased to 1.35% in 2010-11. The economic survey of 2016-17 also lists down the public health expenditure as a percentage of GDP.

The expenditure incurred by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the year 2012-13 is Rs. 23265 crores. The following graph shows the public health expenditure as a percentage of GDP. The graph shows a rise and fall of the health expenditure of the government as a percentage of GDP with a sharp increase in the year 2016-17 during the current government. expenditure on education and health_Public expenditure on health as a percentage of GDP

Claim: The share of public health expenditure to GDP of the country was doubled from a mere 0.13% in 2000-01 to 0.26% in 2010-11 respectively. For the year 2012-13, the Budget for healthcare was earmarked at a whopping Rs. 24,261 crore.

Fact: The public health expenditure as a percentage of GDP of the country was 0.9% in 2000-01. This number has increased to 1.35% in 2010-11. The expenditure of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for the year 2012-13 is Rs. 23265 crores. Hence, the claim is FALSE.

Featured Image: Featured Image By DFID – UK Department[Creative Commons 2.0]

This story is part of a larger series on the 4-years of the Modi government. This series has been made possible with the flash grant of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). Read the rest of the stories in this series here

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